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something real, something which will come to us as an
actual problem of the present day.

Let us suppose, then, that the Western Powers on the*
one hand and Russia on the other hand have just defeated
Germany and have reduced that country to total sur-
render. And let it be granted that the Western Powers,
confronted by the Russian colossus, feel that they cannot
afford to allow the defeated Germany to be drawn into
the orbit of the Communist system; while Russia, for
her part, faced by what to her is the no less formidable
West, is ridden by the mathematically equal and opposite
fear that the balance will be turned against her for all the
future if Germany is enlisted in the non-Communist
group. Here then is a case in which the objects of the
two parties are mutually exclusive, since if the one side
is satisfied the other feels the situation to be utterly
desperate; and it is a case not difficult to imagine, since
it might be argued (though we need not commit our-
selves to the fact) that it has actually existed in our
world since 1945. If we can take this situation for
granted for the purpose of argument, and then persuade
our minds to perform a piece of abstraction, we may
arrive at a result upon which we can do some mathe-
matics. What is required is that we should stretch our
imagination to the point of envisaging this particular
international predicament in a purer form than either
it or anything else ever exists in history. Let us assume
that the Soviet group of States on the one hand and the
Western group on the other are absolutely level in point
of virtue and in the moral qualities of the statesmen who
conduct their affairs. Further, we will postulate that